Planning a trip to Cancun in Mexico without getting excited about all the tasty and unique Mexican foods that you’ll be able to enjoy while you are here is impossible. Most North Americans are very familiar with the standard TexMex fare of Burritos, Fajitas and Tacos, but the real heart of Mexican cuisine can be found in the Yucatan.
The savory flavors, bold textures and vibrant colors that make Mexican cuisine so unique have also made it a recognized UNESCO national heritage! Before you have tried the gastronomic delights available in the Yucatan region of Mexico you have yet to discover the true delight of Mexico’s culinary legacy.
Food from the Yucatan
You will find that Cancun and the Riviera Maya in the Yucatan region of Mexico has a very unique style of cooking that combines traditional Mayan dishes with a touch of Spanish influence. This food is known for its distinctive flavors and aroma which is a result of the different mix of fresh ingredients used. These ingredients include oregano, different types of chili peppers and cilantro, but the most recognizably Yucatecan ingredients are the chimole and achiote pastes that are used. It is this mix of flavours and textures that keep people coming back for more again and again.
Here are some of the most recognizable, tasty and uniquely Yucatecan dishes that you’ll find when you vacation in Cancun and the Riviera Maya:
Huevos Motuleños – Originating in the Yucatecan city of Motul, this dish quickly became a traditional breakfast dish and is now enjoyed all over the region. Made using two fried eggs on a bed of beans and tortillas, and then covered in a tasty tomato and chili sauce. This is one breakfast dish you’ll want to make at home!
Cochinita Pibil – This is possibly the most famous dish served in the Yucatan region and combines marinated pork, red onions, habanero peppers and achiote paste. This dish is generally prepared using banana leaves and will be served either in the form of a sub-style sandwich or as tacos and is one speciality dish that you really don’t want to miss.
Papadzules – These tasty treats that are made with tortilla and look like enchiladas can be found in many forms, but all have the same delicious, creamy texture and a tantalising smell that will really catch your attention. They may be made with chicken, cheese, pork or egg, but in all their forms are a definite contender for the tastiest dish in the Yucatan.
Panuchos Yucatecos – Most taco stands around the Yucatecan region, and in particular in Cancun, will serve Panuchos Yucatecos. These delicious morsels are made by filling a tortilla with refried beans, frying this package and topping it with chicken, tomato sauce, lettuce, cheese, onion and avocado.
Sopa de Lima – Lime soup is a great twist on your favourite lunch time dish. As you might expect its base is made of limes, but specifically Yucatecan limes which are less tart and a little more sweet. Add in some onion, garlic, cilantro, avocado, salt and chicken and you’ve got one tasty Mexican meal.